NI Companies feature in Tech Nation’s Fintech Growth Programme


Today we are excited to announce the 31 companies selected to join Fintech 3.0, our growth programme for the best and brightest UK fintechs. As the global pandemic and its effects roll on, it has become even more important for scaling companies to connect, problem solve with each other, and learn from experts within the field – it will be key to their success. By connecting and supporting emerging UK fintechs, Fintech 3.0 hopes to help to maintain the UK’s position as a fintech global leader.

Tim Levene, CEO, Augmentum VC: “Despite the backdrop of Covid, the innovation in Fintech continues apace and it has been particularly pleasing to see the strength in depth not just by areas of focus but by geography too. Although London remains the centre of gravity for UK fintech, clusters of fintech excellence are being developed across all corners of the country.”

New data from Pitchbook, extracted and analysed by Tech Nation reveals that the UK continues to lead Europe for fintech investment. This year so far has seen $14.6bn invested in UK fintech companies, with investment levels peaking in July 2020 ($1.5bn). By comparison, French fintechs have raised $11.4bn and German fintechs have raised $1.8bn million this year to date. The UK also leads Europe for fintech unicorns, with 22 fintech unicorns, compared to 6 in the Netherlands, 4 in Sweden, 3 in France and 3 in Germany.

Liam Gray, Fintech Lead, Tech Nation: “The UK fintech ecosystem is truly world leading and its strength is clearly demonstrated by the calibre of companies on this year’s Tech Nation Fintech programme. Our third cohort will officially introduce insurtechs to the programme, a sub-segment of fintech that has matured significantly in recent years. This cohort will also be the most geographically diverse group of fintechs we’ve ever had, with 60% located outside of London, highlighting the growing prevalence of regional fintech hubs.”

We are privileged to have Wilson Sonsini, Buckley and CBRE partnering on the Fintech 3.0 programme. Their experience and knowledge working alongside scaling companies will be invaluable for providing insight on international expansion, virtual banking and property management throughout the programme.

The process

Now in its third iteration, we were delighted to receive an incredible total of 143 applications, the most applications the programme has ever received, and an increase of 20% from last year. This further indicates the strength of UK fintech.

Catherine Wines, Co-Founder & Director of WorldRemit “It was another year where we identified some amazing Fintech companies set up in the UK, showing how thriving the UK environment is for Fintech businesses.  What was also striking is the increase of such businesses set up outside London and by women. No doubt the Tech Nation Fintech programme contributes to their development”

The final cohort of 31 was selected by a prestigious panel of mentors, experts and respected figures from the fintech sector and the wider tech community. Judges included Catherine Wines, Co-founder, WorldRemit, Richard Theo, Founder & CEO, Wealthify, Tim Levene, CEO, Augmentum VC, Amir Nooriala, CCO, CallSign, Eileen Burbidge, Partner, Passion Capital and Lou Smith, CDO, Lloyd’s.

Amir Nooriala, CCO, CallSign comments: “It was a delight to see the continual pipeline of innovative and high potential fintech firms this country continues to produce. I look forward to continuing to work with Tech Nation and watching these starts-ups scale successfully.”

60% of the companies joining Fintech 3.0 are based outside of London. This positive statistic highlights the strength of fintech hubs across the UK, and demonstrates the maturity of the fintech sector outside of traditional financial services centres. The companies in our 3.0 cohort hail from Sheffield, Belfast, Edinburgh, Colchester, Bracknell, Manchester, London, Cardiff, Milton Keynes, Bournemouth, Newport, Norwich, Glasgow, Guildford, and Nottingham.

This year was the first time that insurtechs qualified for inclusion on the Tech Nation Fintech programme, and a large proportion of the cohort are insurtechs – 20%. It’s exciting to see so many insurtechs, especially at a time when the industry is beginning to embrace disruption.

While insurtechs represent the biggest sub-sector in our cohort, the rest demonstrate the diversity of sub-sectors within fintech. The other sub-sectors represented include lending, regtech, payments, proptech, open banking and digital ID.

On average the companies have raised £3.3m and employ 18 people. 29% of the cohort companies have a female founder and the most common countries our cohort want to expand to are the USA, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Australia.

Northern Ireland Companies

Automated Intelligence

Belfast, Northern Ireland – Regtech

Financial organisations are mandated by stringent regulatory standards to prove compliance, and failure to comply can result in reputational damage and financial loss. Automated Intelligence provides highly regulated firms with data insight, risk identification and compliance reporting, covering both analysis and discovery, as well as governance, policy execution and reporting.


Belfast, Northern Ireland – Regtech

It’s estimated that 90% of a business’ potential is under utilized, and often the solution to this is found in data, which is complex, time-consuming to analyse and often needs coders, programmers or data analysts to translate. Datactics’ platform transforms data into actionable insights, and empowers those who know data to fix it, without the need for coders or programmes. This helps businesses gain new markets and improve their internal productivity.


Belfast, Northern Ireland – Invoices

Traditionally, the Accounts Payables process demands hours of manual data entry. Lightyear are transforming and automating the process with an intelligent cloud hosted application. Helping businesses of all sizes, across the world to automate this process, they’re reducing the invoice payables cost from £15 per document to £0.25p, and, on average, saving customers 80% processing time. Their system is 100% accurate, and seamlessly transitions documents between team members for one click approval.

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